According to the online dictionary, the word "weary" means physically or mentally exhausted by hard work, exertion, strain, etc.; fatigued; tired. I see some of you nodding your heads. You know exactly what weariness is, don't you? In fact, far too many of us are more familiar with weariness than we would care to admit. Just ask the patient who's undergoing another treatment in hopes that the diagnosis will get better or the loved one who sits by that patient, praying and hoping and crying. Ask the single mother who's trying to work a full-time job and be the loving, supportive parent she knows she needs to be. Ask the prodigal son who left his family behind in search of a better life only to discover that the grass really isn't greener on the other side of the fence. Ask the man stuck in a dead-end job or the woman trapped in a body that fails a little more each day.
Let's face it: we're tired. Physically tired from the day-to-day struggle to make it through and make ends meet. Mentally tired from trying to balance lives that are full to overflowing. Emotionally tired because of the heartache that surrounds our families, friends, coworkers and church members. And yes, we're even spiritually tired. Tired of fighting the flesh. Tired of failing and falling. Tired of doing the right things and not seeing the expected results. We're so tired, so fatigued, so weary!
Jesus gets it. Being born of flesh, He knew what it was like to be tired, hungry, fatigued and yes, even weary. No matter where He went, the people followed. They needed Him. They needed His healing touch. Over and over again, He gave of Himself without receiving anything in return. He healed them. He forgave their sins. He fed them. He taught them. And in the process, He grew weary.
John 4:6 tells how Jesus rested at Jacob's well because He was tired from His journey.
Matthew 14 tells that Jesus, after hearing about the death of his cousin, John the Baptist, departed to a desert place to be alone.
Luke 22 tells of how an angel strengthened Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before His crucifixion.
And I doubt any of us could even imagine the weariness that took hold of him during those final hours on Calvary. Fatigued from lack of sleep. Exhausted from the relentless beating. Weak from the lack of blood. Heartbroken as His Father turned away from Him.
Yes, my friend, Jesus is well-acquainted with our weariness. And because He is, He understands how we feel and what we need in our own hour of fatigue and exhaustion. And He has made us an offer that even He never received: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)